MEA’s Early Career Conference supports educators in the first five years on the job

MEA hosted its annual day of professional development for our members who are newer to the profession. Our Early Career Conference, On Course to Lead, helped those in the first five years not only learn about the Union and their contract, but also provided genuine professional development on key topics like classroom management, preparing an IEP, creating an inclusive classroom and more. Here are some of the lessons learned from the conference. Missed this opportunity? Don’t worry-MEA has another great event coming up this summer—check out the details—

What did you learn from MEA’s most recent professional development conference?

I learned what steps to take if the administration does not adhere to your employment contract.

It was great to leave the conference with classroom management strategies I could implement on Monday!

The sessions/content were super engaging and provided tangible help for an early career educator that can be used in the immediate term and for longer-term planning.

I really enjoyed the seminar about contracts…it was great to hear about what I should be looking for in my contract!

I learned about what rights I have under the collective bargaining agreement.

What value did you find in the Union after attending the conference?

Being a teacher can feel very negative and demoralizing these days but being a part of the MEA community is a nice reminder that there’s wonderful things about being a teacher! These reminders are important.

Being part of the union is like being part of a big family who will have your back.

There are a million valuable reasons to belong to the union, but the conference highlighted how it can be a nexus of solidarity across schools/districts/grades/etc. I met and genuinely connected with so many new people!

The conference confirmed my need for support of being covered by the union to protect myself as an educator.

What was your favorite part of the day?

I appreciated how interactive all the sessions were. Sometimes lecture-style presentations are interesting, but the format of this conference fostered communication and collaboration, and it made me feel like I walked away with ideas that I can immediately apply to my practice.

Being able to connect with different colleagues from across the state and realizing how alike my issues in the classroom have been.

I really enjoyed the cross-sectional education experience within the groups and seeing things from different perspectives. The value shown for all educators and their unique roles in support for our students. Looking beyond academics and peering into the whole student experience was valuable.